He was a Paediatric Surgeon (Actually spelled “Pediatric” in America). And unlike the doctors we hear about charging exorbitant amounts for their services, his patients were usually children from young parents often struggling and many receiving financial assistance. One day I told him how much I was charged for routine knee surgery, outraged he replied “do you know how much I charge for an esophageal fistula??? Eight hundred dollars!!” Needless to say that Dad was never in it for the money. He was on call all hours and with very few days off. He loved people, loved helping them and loved his work. In 1972, He was left paralyzed by a botched routine disc surgery requiring a year of recovery. This left him permanently disabled, with extreme nerve paraesthesia, but his driving love for helping others never stopped him from returning to practise surgery for 11 more years and retiring as an inspirational figure to the next generation of physicians.
He was an incredibly brave, strong and resilient man.
Dad developed heart problems years later. Congestive heart failure causes the afflicted to be starved of oxygen and as it advances, even pure oxygen doesn’t help as the patient struggles to breathe. Yes, the above part of the story is very sad, but the hospice care Dad received was incredibly uplifting. Every morning, the hospice nurse arrived and much like Dad had done years before – they worked tirelessly for another – only this time Dad was the recipient. My father’s bravery never wavered and when it was time, he was ready and he was at peace. It was the hospice that made the all difference and their gift to Dad was his final inspiration. Our family is so grateful for the peace and comfort that they gave to him. Dad did so much for so many and he is my inspiration, so this is for him:
Ronald W. Cooke MD
This Saturday, 7 March 2020 come rain or shine, we’ll be participating in The Male Trail running, walking, marching, singing and shouting for Rowcroft Hospice, by raising whatever we can for those who need our love. Please support this event. Donation is easy by going to the link below:
Nobody wants to think about it, but young or old, we all face the music and like it or not, most times the final act is the one which is the most profound. Rowcroft Hospice in Devon is a truly inspirational organisation giving hope to struggling individuals and their families at the most difficult times in their lives and without a single charge to them. Yes that’s right, zero cost to these families, so that carers, patients and families can focus on what’s most important – that of love, dignity and respect without the distraction of financial burdens to come. To achieve this is a monumental task requiring our collective compassion:
Or better yet, come out and participate too. It’s healthy, it’s fun and you meet some fantastic people! Our task is so much lighter when we roll up our sleeves and do it together.
Thanks and see you there!